Outside the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, are security and stewards.
Outside the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, are security and stewards. (Referring to Associated Press)
The Glazer family, according to United, is looking at outside finance to boost expansion, a move that might open the door to a prospective ρurchase.
In a statement, the firm said that as part of the process, “the board will explore all strategic possibilities, including additional investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company.”
The Raine Group, an American investment bank, has been hired to oversee any sales or new investments.
Raine successfully secured 2.5b pounds (NZ$5.8b) in addition to an additional investment commitment of 1.75b pounds (NZ$3.3b while handling the sale of Premier League club Chelsea to Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital earlier this year.
The announcement will provide optimism to the team’s supporters who have long pushed to oust the American family, which also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There is no assurance that the Glazers would relinquish full control of United.
In the midst of fan protests, the late businessman Malcolm Glazer ρurchased United for 790 million pounds in 2005.
The following years saw further unrest, with protests getting angrier and worse recently. Last year, protests at Old Trafford forced the postponement of a game against Liverpool.
Co-chairmen Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said in the statement that “Manchester United’s strength depends on the passion and dedication of our worldwide community of 1.1b fans and supporters.
The board has approved a comprehensive assessment of strategic options as we work to maintain the club’s successful track record. We’ll weigh all of our choices to make sure we can best serve our supporters and take advantage of Manchester United’s huge development potential both now and in the future.
They continued, “We will stay completely committed on serving the best interests of our fans, stockholders, and diverse stakeholders throughout the process.”
The leveraged nature of the Glazers’ takeover, which added debt to the team, as well as a perceived lack of investment and the profits the owners took out have all drawn criticism from United supporters.
Since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, the team has been in a consistent downward spiral and has been forced to watch as bitter rivals Manchester City and Liverpool have dominated English soccer.
The prospective reconstruction of Old Trafford Stadium, which supporters have long asked for, was listed as one of United’s growth strategies.
Raine would probably take the Chelsea sale as a benchmark for any value and want to surpass that sum for one of the most well-known sports clubs in the globe.
Despite being a lifelong supporter, Jim Ratcliffe, the millionaire owner of the petrochemicals company INEOS, last month abandoned his prior interest in purchasing United.
French club Nice is already owned by INEOS.
Since the summer, our situation has improved, and we are now concentrating our efforts in Nice and expanding the club’s aspirations to make them a top-tier team in France to fight with PSG, according to a statement from INEOS.
“This would offer considerably greater value for our money than purchasing one of the top Premier league clubs,” said the investor.
Another illustrious Premier League team with American ownership, Liverpool, is looking into comparable options. Earlier this month, Fenway Sports Group declared that it was willing to sell shares of the team it had ρurchased in 2010.